Thunberg was awarded The Special Prize for Climate Protection at the 2019 Goldene Kamera Awards in Berlin, Germany.
I dedicate this award to the people fighting to protect the Hambach Forest. And to activists everywhere who are fighting to keep the fossil fuels in the ground.
We live in a strange world. Where all the united science tells us that we are about 11 years away from setting off an irreversible chain reaction way beyond human control that will probably be the end of our civilization as we know it.
We live in a strange world where children must sacrifice their own education in order to protest against the destruction of their future. Where the people who have contributed the least to this crisis are the ones who are going to be affected the most. Where politicians say it’s too expensive to save the world, while spending trillions of euros subsidizing fossil fuels.
We live in a strange world where no one dares to look beyond our current political systems even though it’s clear that the answers we seek will not be found within the politics of today. Where some people seem to be more concerned about the presence in school of some children than the future of humankind. Where everyone can choose their own reality and buy their own truth. Where our survival is depending on a small, rapidly disappearing carbon budget. And hardly anyone even knows it exists.
We live in a strange world. Where we think we can buy or build our way out of a crisis that has been created by buying and building things. Where a football game or a film gala gets more media attention than the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced. Where celebrities, film and pop-stars who have stood up against all injustices will not stand up for our environment and for climate justice because that would inflict on their right to fly around the world visiting their favorite restaurants, beaches and yoga retreats.
Avoiding catastrophic climate breakdown is to do the seemingly impossible. And that is what we have to do. But here is the truth: we can’t do it without you in the audience here tonight. People see you celebrities as Gods. You influence billions of people. We need you. You can use your voice to raise awareness about this global crisis. You can help turn individuals into movements. You can help us wake up our leaders – and let them know that our house is on fire.
We live in a strange world. But it’s the world that my generation has been handed. It’s the only world we’ve got. We are now standing at a crossroads in history. We are failing but we have not yet failed. We can still fix this.
It’s up to us.